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30/05/2017

General Election 2017: Linking Scotland to HS2 a priority, say SNP

Words: Laura Edgar
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon / Scottish Government

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has said that connecting Scotland with HS2 must be a priority, as the party looks to improve connectivity across the country.

On housing

 

Launched in Perth today by leader and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP manifesto states that that Scotland has the highest house building rate in the UK, with over 60,000 affordable homes completed since 2007.

Over the current term of the Scottish Parliament, the party has pledged to invest over £3 billion at it attempts to deliver at least 50,000 new affordable homes. At least 35,000 of these have been designated for social rent.

The party has established a £25 million Rural Housing Fund and is also aiming to deliver 100 affordable homes in island communities through a dedicated £5 million fund.

On infrastructure

 

According to the manifesto, connecting Scotland to HS2 must be a priority, with construction starting in Scotland as well as England. A high speed connection between Glasgow, Edinburgh and the north of England must be a part of any high speed network.

SNP MPs would engage the UK Government in discussions about the feasibility of improving cross-border rail links, including link Carlisle to the Borders Railway.

The manifesto also highlights what the SNP has already pledged to improve Scotland’s infrastructure, including delivering the £1.4 billion Queensferry Crossing; upgrading motorways such as the M8, M73 and M74, and dualling the A9 between Perth and Inverness.

It also notes that £742 million is being invested to improve the Edinburgh to Glasgow railway line.

SNP MPs would call for the Universal Services Obligation (USO) to cover up to 30Mbps with an appropriate update mechanism to ensure that rural areas are not left behind, according to the manifesto.

The SNP plan to protect the country’s air connections to other parts of the UK and continue to work with local partners as part of city and regional deal to deliver an Inverness Airport Rail Hub.

On energy

 

The manifesto states that Scotland has a wealth of onshore and offshore renewable energy potential which is being undermined by the UK Government’s “ideologically-driven cuts to support for renewables”.

The party have said it will work to ensure low cost energy schemes to get long-term certainty needed to support further development and reductions in cost. The party’s MPs would press Westminster to include onshore wind in the industrial strategy. They would also support the development of wind and other renewable energy projects in the Northern and Western Isles.

The SNP want Scotland to be a leader in the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology and, according to the manifesto, is something that has the potential to create thousands of jobs in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, as well as the wider area.

The manifesto notes that party is opposed to the nuclear power station Hinkley Point C, while there is currently a moratorium against fracking in Scotland.

On the environment

 

According to the manifesto, Scotland has already met a world-leading target to reduce emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 and the Scottish Government has produced a draft Climate Change Plan. SNP MPs plan to press the UK Government match Scotland’s commitment and ambition.

 

The SNP manifesto can be found here (pdf).


General Election 2017 manifestos

Labour

Liberal Democrats

Plaid Cymru

Conservatives

Green Party


Image credit | Scottish Government

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